Books by Adjoa J. Burrowes

DESTINY’S GIFT by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

Destiny loves words and, thus, loves Mrs. Wade and her bookstore. She visits Mrs. Wade at the bookstore twice a week to share stories, tea, and cookies. But she's faced with the dilemma of Mrs. Wade closing up shop. This, of course, is unacceptable, so Destiny, with the assistance of her parents rallies the neighborhood in support of Mrs. Wade. As Destiny tries to save the store, she reflects on what makes it so important to her and shares these sentiments with Mrs. Wade in the form of a book she creates. Burrowes's paper-collage illustrations give the characters a three-dimensional feel, but there's a flatness to the faces that doesn't always support the rich emotions of the story. Still, there are clever uses of familiar titles tucked into the books on the shelves and the feeling between Destiny and Mrs. Wade is clear. As the story ends, the future of the bookstore is still unclear, but everyone will understand the importance of books and the people who know and love them. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

A young girl is saddened when her grandmother dies one winter, but by spring, she is able to get over her grief enough to let the purple flowers they enjoyed together remind her of their loving relationship. Bright graphics, which combine cut-paper collage technique with watercolor and acrylics, make some of the action veritably leap off the page as the girl tells of summer, fall, and winter visits to see her grandmother. Nature figures prominently with vivid details included for each time of year and with the action linked to the seasons. For example, the girl's sadness is mirrored by the cold, bleak atmosphere outdoors, and the death is foreshadowed when the girl questions the dying of the leaves in autumn and the grandmother tells her that everything has its time to go. During the girl's visits, the two enjoy corn bread, pecan pie, and other simple pleasures; their closeness is apparent. Burrowes illustrates the girl's happy outdoor times especially well. However, her use of realistic images that primarily incorporate the medium of cut paper beside impressionistic ones in which brush strokes predominate may be jarring for some. And Burrowes, who is making her debut as an author, sometimes uses words and word pictures that lack freshness or don't seem to fit, and due to the form, the girl's recovery seems a little too abrupt to be believable. A good concept that could be better executed, this will still have its audience. (Picture book. 7-10)Read full book review >
MY STEPS by Sally Derby
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

A simple set of five front steps in the city is a child's whole universe, easily becoming playground, hideout, circus arena, school, and home. As the four seasons pass, the unnamed narrator sweeps away ``all the dirt and bugs and the glass, if some got broken during the night,'' creating a clean slate, a canvas, a stage. She shovels snow, plants crumpled green paper bushes along cement-crack rivers in springtime, and splashes in the fire hydrant's summer spray. Her strong narration focuses on the tiny events that make up a day of make-believe. Derby (Jacob and the Stranger, 1994, etc.) keeps the text fairly general; Burrowes, using a cut-paper collage technique with watercolors, shows a brown-skinned girl in an inner-city environment, but this heroine could be any child and the steps, anywhere. Anyone who has played ``pretend'' with cracks in the sidewalk, held a tea party in the shade of a hanging blanket, or ridden a sawhorse to first place will understand the rules of Derby's steps, where each scene has the pleasing simplicity of Peter's world in Ezra Jack Keats's The Snowy Day (1962). (Picture book. 3-5) Read full book review >